VERSAILLES — Scott County's formula of a good defense leading to good offense was on display for all to see Friday night.
The Cardinals used suffocating pressure to defeat the host team 80-66 in Friday's semifinals of the Woodford County Invitational.
Winning coach Billy Hicks, in assessing the keys to the game, said, "I think our turnovers (caused, 11), plus we had a pretty solid rebounding margin (43-32). We hit the boards really good and got some second-chance shots and put-backs, and we hit just enough threes to get by."
Henry Clay got double-doubles from Darien Tichenor and Gerrard Newby to upend Jeffersontown 78-66 in the nightcap,
The Blue Devils will meet Scott County for the championship Saturday at 8 p.m.
"Just play our game," Henry Clay Coach Daniel Brown said when asked what his team will need in the finals. "Gotta come ready, be physical. Move the basketball. Just play our game. ... Just trust each other and, again, get on the boards."
The day's play will begin with Clark County against Frankfort for seventh place at 2 p.m. That will be followed by Highlands versus Dunbar for fifth at 4 p.m., and Woodford County against Jeffersontown for third place at 6 p.m.
Scott County, No. 9 in the Herald-Leader pre-season coaches' poll, was led by Trent Gilbert with 20 points.
"We did a lot better on defense actually. We did good (Thursday, against Dunbar), but I think today we were more solid," Gilbert said. "We were actually able to trap a little bit better and we were actually a little more into it today."
Tyler Page came off the bench to score 14. Quin Richardson, who had 34 against Dunbar, totaled 12 points and four assists. Jalen Haddix had 10 points. Tony Martini led the Cardinals with 10 rebounds and had five points.
Scott County (8-1) has not lost since its season opener.
"It's good to play a tough 11th Region team on the road," Hicks said. "We've got a bunch of those coming up after Christmas, and that's the first one for this year."
Eli Boggess, a 5-foot-11 junior, paced Woodford (7-3) with 26 points.
"Eli, he's a good, crafty player," said Yellow Jackets Coach Scott Hundley, a former Mr. Basketball for Scott County. "You can pretty much count on him to make a good decision most of the time, and does a very good job for our team of creating.
"I liked the second half a lot better, where he was still creating but at the same time we had other people getting involved. We just can't be a one-dimensional team, and we're not. But he does a great job of creating some mismatches for us."
Scott County led 41-22 at halftime, with advantages of 12-1 in points off turnovers, 13-3 in second-chance points, 15-6 on three-pointers and 25-16 in rebounds.
Defense assured that victory would not slip away.
"We play as a unit," Hicks said. "They have to play together. If one person is not in sync, we leave big holes because of the way we have to move. It's all about movement. First it starts with ball pressure, but then it comes down to movement."
Woodford County, held to 36 percent from the field (18-50), went 25-for 29 at the free-throw line.
Henry Clay got 17 points and 12 rebounds from Tichenor, 11 and 10 from Newby. The Devils nearly had two more double-doubles. Trey Grundy had 16 points and nine boards. Christen Cunningham had seven points and 10 assists.
"That shows you it's a total team effort," Brown said.
The Devils shot 28-for-54 (51.9 percent), holding the Chargers to 23-for-63 (36.5). Henry Clay doubled J-Town in rebounds, 50-25.
The Chargers' Moe Hendricks poured in 37 points, going 7-for-16 from the field, 5-for-6 from three-point range and 8-for-10 at the foul line.
"I thought we moved the ball," Brown said. "I thought we rebounded it well and used our size to our advantage.
"Obviously it was a good win. Any time you beat a good Louisville school — J-Town's got a lot of tradition, as anyone knows around the state."
SCOTT CO. (8-1) — Haddix 10, Martini 5, Tribble 7, Richardson 12, Gilbert 20, Page 14, Kindred 6, Short 4, Guyn 2. Totals 28-62 16-26 80.
WOODFORD CO. (7-3) — Howell 8, Honabach 3, Young 10, Boggess 26, Henderlight 10, Cole 2, Raglin 2, Ham 3, Hamilton 2. Totals 18-50 25-29 66.
Scott County 22 19 20 19 — 80
Woodford County 12 10 16 28 — 66
Three-point goals — SC 8-15 (Richardson 1-3, Gilbert 4-9, Page 2-2, Kindred 1-1), WC 5-19 (Howell 1-3, Honabach 0-5, Raglin 0-1, Young 1-1, Boggess 3-6, Cole 0-1, Ham 0-2).
JEFFERSONTOWN (4-5) — Marshall 12, Hendricks 37, Willilams 6, Howard 5, Johnson 3, Minor 3, Baker 0, Haskins 0. Totals 23-63 13-19 66.
HENRY CLAY (7-1) — Grundy 16, Tisdale 9, Tichenor 17, Ware 3, Newby 11, Cunningham 7, Setzer 2, Wilson 2, Green 8, Barnes 2, Sinninger 1. Totals 28-54 20-32 78.
Jeffersontown 11 12 14 29 — 66
Henry Clay 18 14 26 20 — 78
Three-point goals — J 7-25 (Baker 0-1, Marshall 1-3, Hendricks 5-6, Williams 0-9, Johnson 1-5, Haskins 0-1), HC 2-15 (Cunningham 1-4, Setzer 0-4, Green 0-1, Tisdale 1-2, Ware 0-4).
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